I planted The City Church in 2010, a year after the stock market crashed. We started with 20 people in a living room, and even with the generous support of friends, families, and organizations, there was no way I could pull a full-time salary. When I got the chance to teach part-time public speaking courses at Texas Christian University, I jumped at it—primarily as a means of support but also because I had already spent four years ministering to that campus. Today our church has seen significant growth, is financially "stable," and we have multiple elders and deacons. Some are financially supported; others are not. Three years in, the church could pay me a full-time salary, but I'm still bi-vocational and—don't fall out of your chair—I hope that's always the case.
Generally seen as a last-ditch option, bi-vocationality is a necessity for many in today's economic climate. Especially in new churches or smaller ministries, pastors hesitantly turn ...1